Eagles only winning team losing turnover battle
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Through 14 games the Philadelphia Eagles have committed a league-high 34 turnovers, three more than the next highest team, and 11 more than any other NFC team with a winning record.
Yet the Eagles still have nine wins, despite 19 interceptions from quarterbacks Nick Foles (10) and Mark Sanchez (nine) and 15 fumbles, five of which have come from the quarterbacks.
The 19 interceptions are a league-high, one more than Jacksonville, Chicago and Tampa Bay. And the 15 fumbles also lead the league, one more than Indianapolis and the New York Giants.
''We keep coaching not turning the ball over,'' Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. ''We keep and keep coaching ball security.''
Six more turnovers the past two weeks led to two losses to Seattle and Dallas and dropped the Eagles from first place in the NFC East to now needing help to get into the playoffs.
The Eagles, at 9-5, need to win their last two games against the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants and need Dallas (10-4) to lose one of its last two games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Redskins.
The Eagles are the only team with a winning record that has more often turned the ball over than taken it away.
Early in the season, the turnovers were offset by the fact the Eagles had 10 touchdowns via return, either by the special teams or the defense. There were none of those in the last two losses.
''You can't say we turned it over, but our defense scored so we're OK,'' Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. ''Every unit is responsible.''
The Eagles still have an opportunity to make the playoffs. They need help, but they also need to help themselves by holding onto the ball.
''That's what's been hurting us (the past two weeks),'' Sanchez said. ''We need better ball security and that starts with me.''
NOTES: Outside linebacker Trent Cole had surgery to have a plate inserted in his broken left hand Wednesday, according to Kelly, and is out for Saturday's game in Washington. Brandon Graham will make his first start since 2012 and his first start ever as an outside linebacker in Cole's place. Graham also confirmed a report that his agent is talking with the Eagles on a new contract. He is scheduled to become a free agent in March. First-round pick Marcus Smith, who has not seen action in seven games this season, becomes the top backup linebacker. ... Cole and quarterback Nick Foles (broken collarbone) were the only two players out of practice Wednesday.